With the seismic shifts taking place within retail, as well as the significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on customers’ shopping behaviour, the race for tech talent is on with retailers dialing up their investment in ensuring that they are appropriately structured to respond competitively to this changing environment.

Taking this a step further, Woolworths is accelerating its investment in enhancing its already well-established digital platform and drive its ambition of being a leading omni-channel retailer. Woolworths holds a unique position in South African retail, offering food, fashion, beauty, homeware and financial services – online, mobile and app, as well as in store – and it is fast-tracking the connection and integration of these channels to offer best-in-class customer experience.  

“Over the last 3 years we have invested more than R1bn in our digital capabilities in South Africa, providing new and innovative experiences that meet evolving customer needs and that differentiate us in the market. We’re now accelerating this investment to support the exponential growth of our digital channels. We’ve adapted the way we’re structured to ensure we can innovate at speed and scale,” says Liz Hillock, Head of Online and Mobile.

The retailer is actively in the market to recruit more than 100 specialists to take their digital strategy forward, including product management, UX and UI design expertise, scrum masters as well as technical and design leads.

“Being a truly omni-channel retailer requires deep business integration and not the creation of more tech silos.  With our new digital product management structure already in place, integrated into our business, and with cross-functional teamwork at its core, it’s incredibly exciting to see the progress and agility of this new way of working,” adds Hillock.

The Woolworths digital team have already delivered new innovations to the market in the last few months, including being the first South African retailer to launch virtual try-on for Beauty as well as virtual beauty consultations, WCellar which includes a standalone liquor store, online hub and NFC enabled shopping, AI-driven recommendations, Ratings & Reviews as well as the launch and scaling of Woolies Dash, the first on demand retailer in the country with full cold-chain.

“Our vision of being a truly connected, omni-channel retailer means delivering the Woolies difference our customers love, anytime, anywhere, anyhow. Adopting a new operating model and agile working style allows us to truly listen to customers, respond to change, and deliver much quicker. We’re experimenting, learning and iterating to ensure we constantly optimise our services, while exploring and utilising the latest technologies and services. We are now looking for the best, most curious minds in the country to join us on this journey to build Woolworths quality digital services,” says Hillock.

If you are interested in joining the Woolies team and to be part of their omni-channel retail journey, please visit their LinkedIn page [insert hyperlink] for more information.